With its two seniors missing from the lineup and two freshman starting, the Mancos High School girls basketball team put forth a valiant effort, but fell just short, in a 34-29 home loss to Telluride on Dec. 14.
Leading the way for the Lady Jays offense, as she has for much of the season, was junior Emily Cole, who scored a team-high 15 points. Freshmen Tia Imel and Madi Hale each added six points for Mancos.
Beginning the game in a motion offense, Mancos players had several good looks at the basket throughout the game’s first four minutes and pulled ahead 4-0 after an offensive rebound and put back by Hale and a long jumper by Cole.
The Lady Jays extended their lead to 9-6 early in the second quarter after a free throw by sophomore Emmalee Asnicar, but were undone by a spate of turnovers during the next four minutes that allowed Telluride to build an 18-11 lead by halftime.
“We’re a young team and we make a lot of mistakes,” Mancos head coach Cory Cole explained. “In the very beginning of the game, we were hyper because it was our first home game. We just have to settle down.”
Altering their offensive approach to begin the second half, Lady Jays’ players had several open looks at the basket throughout the third quarter, which opened with an elbow jumper by Hale that cut Telluride’s lead to 18-13. Another elbow jumper by Hale to begin the fourth quarter cut Telluride’s lead to 26-20 early in the fourth quarter and led to a Telluride timeout.
“When we came out of the locker room at halftime, we told each other, ‘the faith of a mustard seed can move a mountain,’” Emily Cole said. “We just came out knowing that God was on our side and that we were going to play hard for him.”
Up six points and looking to regroup after its timeout, Telluride began to look to senior Jessica Pack, who consistently used her 6-foot frame to gain position and score easy buckets.
Although a 4-0 Mancos run courtesy of an offensive rebound and layup by Imel and a fast break layup by Imel cut the Telluride lead to 34-29, a victory was not to be as the Lady Jays were unable to draw closer during the final minute of the game.
Despite the loss however, Mancos remained positive thanks to the contributions it received from several underclassmen, including Imel, who, despite being the shortest player on the court, pulled down four offensive rebounds.
“All of the rebounding drills that we do in practice made it happen,” Imel said. “I was down there and I was able to grab the ball.”
With its loss to Telluride, Mancos fell to 0-5 on the season. The Lady Jays will look to pick up their first win of the year when they visit San Juan Basin League powerhouse Ignacio on Dec. 19.